In Between East and West/Word and Image, Geng Youzhuang, one of China’s leading intellectuals, offers an original and sophisticated analysis of both Western cultural and literary theory and contemporary Chinese thought. In this fascinating exploration of the respective intellectual traditions within China and the West, Geng shows how the dynamics at work between word and image become a parable for understanding the larger relationship between Chinese and Western ideas.
Geng first surveys influential Western thinkers and their ideas, with a special focus on the relations between words and things, signs and meanings, image and language. He next explores the conflicted relationship between religion and literature in the West. Finally, Geng turns his focus to China, discussing the meaning and significance of sinology and the possibilities of treating China as a sign and referent in contemporary Western thinking. Anyone interested in the forces at work within the intermingling of Eastern and Western literature, writing, and the semiotics of culture, will find Between East and West/Word and Image compelling.
Acknowledgments Introduction I 1 The Construction of Language and Vision On Roland Barthes’ "Les mots et les choses" 2 Meditation on Flames and Ashes Jacques Derrida’s "Semiotics" 3 The End of Poetry and the Impossibility of Witness On Giorgio Agamben’s Poetics 4 "Philopainting" or "Pictophilosophy"? Gilles Deleuze’s Reading of Francis Bacon’s Paintings II 5 Augustine’s "Self-Portrait" Confessions as a Literary Autobiography 6 Aesthetic Theology Theological Aesthetics after von Balthasar 7 Miracles and Revolutionary Reversals Terry Eagleton’s Theological Turn 8 The Rhetoric of Icons From Image to Voice III 9 Between Reality and Imagination The Phenomenon of Contemporary Chinese Art 10 Gesture and Ľécriture The Chinese "Content" in Contemporary Western Philosophy of Art 11 Sinological Studies and Literary Imagination A Reflection on Sinology and a Review of Jonathan Stalling’s Poetics of Emptiness 12 Moving Boundaries How Can Scriptural Reasoning Enter into the Chinese Context? Conclusion Notes Works Cited Credits Index
GENG Youzhuang is Professor of Comparative Literature in the School of Liberal Arts at Renmin University of China.
Between East and West/Word and Image is highly informative and filled with fresh insights and thought-provoking ideas for scholars in comparative literature, cross-cultural studies, and China-West studies.
~Ming Dong Gu, Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Dallas
Between East and West/Word and Image is a collection of remarkable breadth—from Augustine to Agamben to the international situations of Chinese poetry and art—by a major Chinese scholar. These essays make a profound contribution to a new and, perhaps for the first time, truly global conversation about philosophy, art, and religion.
~Paul Copp, Associate Professor in Chinese Religion and Thought, The University of Chicago
These are valuable and insightful reflections on key figures and concepts of Western and Chinese philosophy and aesthetics. They are also illuminating for both literary scholars and art historians interested in transcultural aesthetics and philosophy.